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Candrakīrti's Madhyamakāvatāra

Horst Lasic, Anne MacDonald, Xuezhu Li

The nearly complete (folio 2 is missing) manuscript (codex unicus) of Candrakīrti’s Madhyamakāvatāra comprises 97 folios (end: 98a2) and has been written in old Nepalese script by a single hand. The photocopies of the manuscript are of mediocre quality, with some unreadable passages. The diplomatic and critical editions of the text will appear in the series "Sanskrit Texts from the Tibetan Autonomous Region" published by the China Tibetology Publishing House and the Austrian Academy of Sciences Press. The editions of the first five chapters are being prepared by Dr. Horst Lasic, Dr. Xuezhu Li (China Tibetology Research Center, Beijing), and Dr. Anne MacDonald (planned date of publication: 2019). Chapter six is being prepared by Dr. Anne MacDonald. Dr. Li has published the verses of chapter six in the Journal of Indian Philosophy 43 (2015). Li also plans to edit the final chapters of the text.

Edition and Translation of Candrakīrti’s Prasannapadā, Chapter 1

Anne MacDonald

The first chapter of the Prasannapadā (PsP), Candrakīrti’s commentary on Nāgārjuna’s Mūlamadhyamakakārikā (MMK), was originally critically edited by Louis de La Vallée Poussin on the basis of three Sanskrit paper manuscripts and published as Bibliotheca Buddhica Volume IV over the years 1903–1913. Because de La Vallée Poussin had been unable to restore many of the corrupt passages he encountered in the manuscripts or furnish text for their shared lacunae, effort was made in the final quarter of the last century to locate more manuscripts of the work in order to improve the text's readings. J.W. de Jong made emendations to both the MMK and the PsP using the “Rome” PsP paper manuscript, and Akira Saito relied on the three paper manuscripts of the PsP preserved in the Tokyo University library to further correct the MMK. Dr. MacDonaldʼs own manuscript searches resulted in the discovery of nine more paper manuscripts and one palm-leaf manuscript of the PsP that she dates to the late twelfth or early thirteenth century. A second palm-leaf manuscript of the PsP has been transcribed by Prof. Yoshiyasu Yonezawa, and in 2011 MacDonald was granted access to the transcription for PsP chapter one. These valuable manuscript finds have made a re-editing of the PsP – previously a desideratum expressed by a number of scholars – a concrete possibility.</p>

MacDonald's monograph "In Clear Words" can be ordered from the Austrian Academy of Sciences Press. It can be downloaded as a PDF at

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